TV Watch: ‘Race’ concludes, ‘O.C.’ teases, ‘Smallville’ improves stories

Robert Taylor

Amazing Racists Won!

CBS, Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

I’m torn about the finale of The Amazing Race. Yes, I was on the edge of my seat almost every moment and yes, I was screaming at certain points, but it was a mixed bag.

While having four teams take part in last season’s finale was a great twist, this season its seemed to be to stretch the show out to two hours. In the last half hour, we weren’t even thinking about Adam and Rebecca because they were so far behind, so was it necessary to have them in the running?

Also, what was up with Aaron proposing to Hayden? Is the lady slipping her man some love drugs in secret or something, because if there is even a hint of a problem in the air, Hayden went nuts and blamed it on Aaron. Run, Aaron, run while you can.

The train blocking Kris and John’s run to the finish was possibly the most random thing I’ve seen on the show.

And as for the amazing racists–er, winners — Freddy and Kendra, every time I think about how unworthy they are of the million dollars and how racist she is, I just have to remember that she did have that “breakthrough” during the panic attack.

And if it wasn’t Kris and John, they would have been my second choice out of the four left.

Next season we get Boston Rob and Am-buh back in action. I’m feeling bored already.


Smallville: Naked Superheroes

The WB, Wednesdays at 8 p.m.

With Lost airing repeat after repeat (Claire’s return in a new episode this week happened after my deadline) I’ve begun to examine the other cult hit on at 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

After losing all interest in Smallville last season I was surprised at how easily I jumped in again. Though it still has an immense amount of problems I still like what I see.

Erica Durance is fabulous as Lois, filling all her scenes with an energy I haven’t seen since the first season. The monsters of the week are more human, with emotions and feelings.

Kristen Kreuk’s Lana has been given something to do other than mope after Clark in searching through her background, and Chloe has purpose again now that she has uncovered Clark’s secret.

Still, the show has become more about Tom Welling being shirtless than Superman discovering his powers, and the mind games between Michael Rosenbaum’s Lex and his father Lionel (John Glover) have reached a new level of grating (just kill off the father already).

Ma and Pa have absolutely done nothing save look angry when necessary and dole out advice when there is a lull in action.

Although it’s doing fine, Smallville is so far from the extraordinary things it is capable of that it needs new direction and purpose soon, something that makes the actors fire at all cylinders and reaffirm Clark’s place in the legend. That, and make Tom Welling keep his shirt on for an entire episode.


The O.C.: Almost

Fox, Thursdays at 8 p.m.

Seth and Summer almost kiss. Caleb almost dies. Marissa and Alex almost kiss. Am I sounding like Bowling for Soup yet?

It’s February sweeps, go for something instead of doing it half-assed! Well, at least we are all certain Marissa (Mischa Barton) is a lesbian now — that look on her face when Alex took her hand was almost orgasmic.

I’m very wary of yet another subplot trying to break up Sandy (Peter Gallagher) and Kirsten’s (Kelly Rowan) marriage. Why try to mess with the most functional, perfect marriage on television? Instead of having horny coworkers and mysterious characters from the past you could actually have the couple work together on something and please the fans in the process.

If the creators have the gall to break the power couple apart at least half of the remaining viewers is going to wash away, and they have to know that. At least we know something is up, every commercial on Fox is devoted to warning us not to miss the last five minutes. But with characterization and creativity at such a low ebb, I’m almost at the point of watching Joey and Will & Grace before flipping over for that final five minutes, since this season’s history is telling me nothing important will happen for the first 55.

Contact pop arts reporter Robert Taylor at [email protected]